Bolga High Court orders EC to mount witness box in ongoing Pusiga election petition


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VOTER EXHIBITION EXCERCISE

A Bolgatanga High Court has ordered the electoral commission to open a defence in an ongoing Pusiga Parliamentary election petition.

The Court, presided over by His Lordship Charles Ajei Wilson said the electoral commission must demonstrate to the court that there is no possibility that the petitioner would be able to establish a cause of action against respondents even if all disputed malpractices, irregularities and alleged questions of fact resolved in the petitioner’s favour.

On 18th January 2021, the parliamentary candidate of the New Patriotic Party in the 2020 elections for the Pusiga constituency Abdul Karim Zanni Dubiure petitioned the court in respect of the outcome of the election.

The petitioner argues that the electoral commission erred in declaring Hajia Laadi Ayamba winner of the Parliamentary election. He is asking the court to annul results of some five polling stations which he states were fraught with irregularities.

Mr Karim stated further that there was over voting in the said polling stations thereby compromising the outcome.

Though Lawyer for the 2nd respondent (Hajia Laadi Ayamba), Edudzi Tamakloe maintained that the court cannot compel their client to be cross-examined as referred to in the 2020 Presidential Election petition as stated by the supreme court, the Bolgatanga High Court granted that application but dissented in the matter of the 1st respondent (EC) being cross-examined.

“For the purposes of the 1st respondent two matters are essential for consideration. The question presented is not whether the petitioner will prevail in this action, but also, whether the 1st respondent, Electoral Commission us entitled to offer evidence against the petitioner’s allegations. In answering these questions the court assumes that petitioner’s allegations are true and draws all reasonable interference in the petitioner’s favour,” the Tuesday ruling said.

The judge stated further that “Now, since 1st respondent Electoral Commission is repudiating the challenge and complain, then I am of the view that the 1st respondent must necessarily give a statement in court to explain the alleged irregularities”.

The case has been adjourned to November 12.


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